First day of school, a time for celebration for the Oyster Bay School District


The only thing missing during the welcome for students at the James H. Vernon School in Oyster Bay was a brass band. Principal Dr. Valerie Vecchio, teachers, volunteers, and even Superintendent Dr. Laura Seinfeld created a great deal of excitement for the incoming third through sixth grade students by shaking pompoms and exclaiming “Welcome!” causing most children to smile. Drik Ravn, 9, said the pompom greeting was crazy, but also agreed it was kind of cool.

Vecchio’s relished her 26th first day of school as an educator, and her 13th year working for the Oyster Bay-East Norwich School District. “The first day is so exciting because students get a new start,” she said. “Everyone is refreshed, revived, excited and ready to go.”

Seinfeld welcomed students back, adding “We missed you.” She said the district is ready for a successful year. “We worked so hard over the summer to prepare our instruction programs and facility for a great year of learning,” she said. “The art and music wing is nearly complete, and we have new safety and security.”

Caitlin Dias, 9, loves reading chapter books. She said she hopes she will read adventure books in school. Her friend, Emma Hampton, 8, said she too loves reading, but is also looking forward to learning how to play the French horn.

Charles Siracusa, 11, hopes to sharpen his computer skills, and Jane Myers can’t wait to work on her first project in science, her favorite class.

Sabrina Eisner, 9, arrived with her parents. As someone who loves math, she said she was looking forward to learning long division. Her paretns smiled with pride.

All of the students will take on Vernon’s school motto: “Building Bridges, Expanding Opportunities, and Leaving Legacies.” Maybe not on the first day of course, but it is something they’ll be working towards during the school year.